The PRC, American Business, and Decoupling

Matt Pottinger, former President Donald Trump’s Deputy White House National Security Adviser, had a number of thoughts concerning the People’s Republic of China, and its targeting of American businesses, with unusual bluntness.

Beijing’s message is unmistakable: you must choose. If you want to do business in China, it must be at the expense of American values. You will meticulously ignore the genocide of ethnic and religious minorities inside China’s borders; you must disregard that Beijing has reneged on its major promises—including the international treaty guaranteeing a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong; and you must stop engaging with security-minded officials in your own capital unless it’s to lobby them on Beijing’s behalf.
Another notable element of Beijing’s approach is its explicit goal of making the world permanently dependent on China, and exploiting that dependency for political ends.


What also drew my eye is this, near the end of his op-ed, in response to a PRC strawman that the US was working on decoupling our economy from the PRC’s.

No one in Washington is seriously threatening a wholesale decoupling of the two economies.

That’s sadly true, regardless of the fact that Pottinger, with that sentence, was setting aside the PRC’s nonsensical claim. Pottinger did suggest that we are decoupling in key technologies, but I think that’s inadequate.

Washington—and private enterprise—should be moving apace to decouple from the People’s Republic of China. Not just in “key technologies,” too, but all across our economy, from strategic minerals, through those key technologies, to ordinary consumer products, components, and raw materials.

It’s a wide world, and we have no need to trade with our enemies, much less one who’s clearly stated goal is to conquer us and that wide world.

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